I am thankful for –

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There are times when I need to be encouraged by feeling hope and joy. Even though much has changed and life is very, very different, there are still plenty of things I am thankful for. Day-to-day life can be exhausting and overwhelming. In the midst of feeling as if all you can do is survive certain days, it is helpful to stop and do an inventory of the all the things you can enjoy.

Some days you may wonder what God is up to. Reviewing what you are thankful for can start you down the road to feeling better. Grief is a journey with ups and downs. Hang on tightly and prepare yourself for the marathon of grief. At those times when you find yourself running low on fuel, fill up by composing your own list of some of the things you are thankful for. Here is a list of items that easily and quickly came to my mind as I began thinking on this topic. I am thankful for and enjoy:

The smell of freshly mowed grass

Bright yellow tulips

Good friends

The hope that love provides

Thunderstorms

Beautiful music

The laughter of children

Spending time with family

A good hug

Teaching and helping others see their potential

An interesting book

A good cry

The chance to sing with good musicians

The kindness of strangers

Second chances

Studying and discovering treasures in the Bible

Writing

A sincere compliment

Finding a great pair of jeans

Remembering the past

Looking forward to the future

Giving today my all

Helping others

Fresh flowers on my desk

Massages

Reading this list gives me hope and makes me smile. It helps me realize that I can still feel good about life. Perhaps you are still wondering if you will ever move past the numbness of loss and the pain of grief. Begin your own list. There is no shame in starting small. Just place down an item or two and add to the list each day. Keep thinking and watch your own list grow.

Until next time –

Karen

Grief Letters is available for you to purchase. Having hope and purpose is not impossible when facing loss and pain. This devotion book is filled with lessons learned from my own journey as well as suggested activities written to help achieve forward progress through grief. Place your order today!

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Grief Letters By Karen Bransgrove, Published by WestBow Press. You can order here.

Hardcover | 6 x 9 in | 114 pages | ISBN 9781490869674

Softcover | 6 x 9 in | 114 pages | ISBN 9781490869667

E-Book | 114 pages | ISBN 9781490869650

Also available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

The Dog Park

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Today, my brother, nieces, and I took little Benny, the cocker spaniel, to the dog park. The weather today was beautiful, sunny, and warm. It was obvious that many other dog owners had the same idea, taking advantage of the day, for it was quite a popular and crowded place.

As Benny ran about excitedly exploring and investigating the park along with the other canines, I found it intriguing to see how the dog owners interacted. There seemed to be some regulars who frequented the park and easily conversed with one another. A couple of people even brought lawn chairs, making themselves comfortable while their pets played.

Others, like me, stood still at first taking it all in. There were some rather large dogs racing back and forth, frolicking with each other, oblivious to anything other than the fun to be had. Those pups played with wonderful abandon, totally carefree, and without a worry. The dogs also showed me two points I took home from the dog park today.

Enjoy and live in the moment – As we walk through grief, it can be difficult to allow ourselves pleasure and the freedom to “run and play.” However, I believe we can learn from the dogs I watched today. They didn’t worry about anything but playing in the sun with their new friends. It didn’t matter that the fun wouldn’t last long or that they would encounter the occasional dog that barked and played a bit roughly. They lived in the moment.

Branch out to meet others – Those of us walking the journey of grief can also benefit by reaching outside of ourselves and meeting new people. Not everyone we come in contact will be our new best friend or even someone whom we want to know better. Still, it is good for us to practice social skills and talk to others if only to forget our own sorrows for just a bit. The art of conversation gets a bit rusty if we allow ourselves to stay isolated for too long.

Little Benny enjoyed his day at the park, as did the four of us who took him. A little fresh air, exercise and socializing is beneficial to everyone – canines as well as humans. I do not have a dog, but I can take these same  concepts and apply them to my life at home. Here’s to meeting new friends and enjoying the journey along the way.

Until next time –

Karen